Notes Janzen Reminisces Over Stewart


PGA of AmericaSPRINGFIELD, N.J. ' Lee Janzen won two U.S. Open titles, and both came at the expense of the late Payne Stewart.
Janzen won his first at Baltusrol Golf Club in 1993 and his second at the Olympic Club in 98.
Monday, Janzen played the Lower Course at Baltusrol for the first time since his maiden major triumph 12 years ago and said the memories of his good friend came flooding back.
I did think about him a little bit today, because I played with him in the last round in 93, he said.
Playing the course today, Im telling my caddie, who didnt caddie for me then, shots that he hit, shots that I hit and how the last round was going. And certainly I probably will have some thoughts about him and his family. But thats not unusual. I see his son and his wife quite often when Im home.
Janzen said he started to grow closer to Payne following that final round 12 years ago, and soon became close friends with both him and his family. He got permission from tournament organizers to play with Paynes son, Aaron, in last years Father-Son tournament.
Darren Clarke hasnt played a lot of golf over the last two weeks, so hes trying to knock off the rust over four practice days on the Lower Course.
But hes far from concerned. In fact, he was all smiles in his Monday press conference. Thats because his wife, Heather, is progressing in her on-going battle with breast cancer.
At the minute, shes doing great. Weve just spent two weeks, the whole family down in San Diego and Barbados. Weve been lying on the beach not doing an awful lot, so Im certainly very relaxed coming into this week, to say the least, he said.
And now shes almost back to full health again, and things are good at the moment, which certainly makes it a lot easier for me to come back out and try and play.
Clarke hasnt competed since the Open Championship four weeks ago. He withdrew from the U.S. Open to be with his wife while she was undergoing therapy.
Ian Poulter arrived at Baltusrol a little worse for the wear. Poulter injured himself while practicing last Tuesday. He said he used a training aid to restrict the movement of his lower body, likening the device to a very big rubber band.
It seemed to be pretty painful for sort of two or three days, he said.
I didnt practice the week before last; I had a whole week off, tried to relax, come back, and hit sort of 20, 30 balls and tore some ligaments, I think. It set me back for a couple of days, but the swing is looking good. Ive done some good practice the last couple of days.
As for the Englishmans expressive attire, expect him to again stand out when he walks the fairways. He sported pants emblazoned with the claret jug during the first round of the Open Championship.
As always. As always, he said, when asked if he had something special in store this week. When pushed for a preview, he said, No, with a laugh.
Mike Small is more than just one of 25 club professionals in this championship. Hes the head golf coach at Illinois University.
While his team struggled this past season, finishing last in the Big Ten, Small has personally had a successful summer. And he hopes his success will help his team.
Small won this years PGA Club Professional Championship and the Illinois Open Championship, and made the cut in the PGA Tours Cialis Western Open. This exposure, he expects, will enhance his recruiting.
I think its going to very positively help it and give it some credibility, he said. It gives us a niche. All programs have a niche when they recruit; sometimes its the facilities, the school. This kind of distinguishes or separates us from the average school, so I think its got to help kick-start out relationship (with the recruits).
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